I looked at maxillary 1st premolars in part 1 of variations in root canal anatomy (refer to Jan 2013) and highlighted two of the important steps necessary in locating all the canals – thorough preoperative radiographic assessment and careful visual examination upon endodontic access.
Vertucci’s canal configuration:
Endodontic treatment of mandibular 2nd molars can be complicated by difficult access and visibility relating to the posterior positioning in the mouth. What’s more, it’s clear that mandibular 2nd molars tend to have quite variable root canal anatomies as the following examples demonstrate!
Three canals in two roots (mesial Type II and distal Type I) – this tooth had +28mm working lengths!
Three canals in one root (Type VIII) – the cone-beam CT images reveal the C-shaped root/canal configuration and the extent of the periapical radiolucency
One canal in one root (Type I) – note the extensive secondary periodontal involvement at initial presentation and the complete periradicular healing after endodontic therapy alone
Dr Michael Yoon